Over the past several years, I’ve written articles and columns in Roofing Contractor about Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and how they will be used in sustainable building design and selection. Essentially, third-party certified EPDs provide a standard approach for disclosing the environmental impacts of products in a way to allow comparison among similar products using well-known environmental measures. In the green-building market, EPDs are destined to become very popular due to their inclusion under several credits in the latest version of the LEED Green Building Rating System. In response to anticipated demand for the information contained in EPDs, many building-material manufacturers have been active in developing and publishing third-party certified EPDs.
Many of the first EPDs to be published involved interior products such as floors, ceilings and furnishings. More recently, however, roofing and insulation manufacturers have joined the EPD movement. If you’re looking for roofing products that meet the new EPD credit in LEED v4, a list of companies and products that can immediately help you is shown in a table on the next page of this article.
In addition to these individual companies, several industry trade associations have been active in EPD development. These organizations include the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) and the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), which have published third-party certified EPDs for roof- and wall-insulation products manufactured or field-applied by their member companies. In addition,theVinyl Roofing Division of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association (CFFA) has published a third-party-certified EPD for reinforced PVC roofing membranes manufactured by its members. Finally, several companies have published European versions of EPDs and currently are in the process of developing similar versions for North America.
As the green-building market starts to implement LEED v4 into specifications, it’s likely that many more roofing manufacturers will hop on the EPD bandwagon. But in the meantime, the environmental leaders mentioned in this column deserve a little extra recognition for taking the first steps.
For more information about EPDs and their impact on product selection, please take a look at my article, “Disclosure: The Newest Dimension in Green Building,” published in the March 2014 issue of Roofing Contractor.